Thursday, August 23, 2007

The legacy of hopes

Sometimes, I doubt the capabilities of human beings withstanding the full thrust of agony and suffering. We seemed so fragile; at any given moment we could crack under the immense pressure of world’s unforgiving nature and eventually break into million pieces. Before this, I felt my world crumbling down on me, with a lot of unexpected things knocking on my door and lot od due dates and datelines to be met. But, this particular place called PERNIM in Cheras Baru has opened my eyes to the reality of life, and how my problems are just bubbles compared to the sea of anguish and torment the children there are swimming in. This place houses abandoned children who their bodies are ravaged by the HIV virus, with no parents to go to, and ever thirsty for love and care. We spent 3 days there, playing with them, put them to sleep, teaching them a few lessons on life, and giving them the love and hope that they deserve and should have. Honestly at first, we felt quite anxious due to the reality that we are handling children who have the virus that there is still no cure for and the only barrier between us and the virus is just our skin. But, when we arrived there, every single negative perception that mingles in our heads receded. We were greeted with joyous laughs and smiles by the children there and judging from their appearances, we just could not apprehend the fact that this sweet, demure, innocent children are HIV positive. We wonder, what did they do to deserve this kind of punishment? Why life seems so unfair? The ‘Mama’ over there just explain briefly the background of the home and the history of the children who live there. If you could spend time with them, you’ll find out that these children are utterly independent and friendly, especially the babies there. They could sleep in your arms even you just have been there for 1 day. After every Maghrib solats, we would have a chat with them, trying to know them much better. A child there said, in his own words that his dad died and his mom would bring ‘new dads’ every night to his home. And there’s another child, she’s blind, her flesh was once ravaged by flesh-eating germs, she has a foot smaller than the another, and the only things she could say are her name, her age, and the Arabic characters. She was found abandoned, with dirt all over her body and left alone. Are we worse than animals? Even animals have more compassion than us if this is how we act. Those 3 days with them have created a strong family-like bond between us and the children and it was just heart-braking to just say goodbye to them. Those small kisses and gentle hugs I got from all of these children will indeed be the one of the most memorable experience in my life. Living in a picture perfect family, the only place where I could find this kind of stories before this visit was just in television dramas. But now, I have seen the dark side of life which I didn’t realize its existence before. One thing which marvels me the most is how these children could move on with their lives, after going through immense pain and hardships and still being able to carve the biggest smile on their faces? They, to me, are living and walking legacies of the human spirit and how believing in hopes and dreams could bring you out of life’s greatest challenges. Some of them want to be doctors, pilots, and soldiers and even though their future appeared dim, but ironically, this is the place where hopes shine the brightest. I have faith, no doubt, that these children have the capabilities and the strength to achieve where no man has achieved before. And in the end of the day, I realized that these children have made me understand that life is not all about receiving, but its more on giving, may it be hope, love, or anything else. And, indeed, even though hopes and dreams seemed irreversibly destroyed, they are actually not. We just need to keep on believing, and have a little more faith.